November 4th, 2012
04:50 PM ET
2 years ago

FIRST ON CNN: Boehner says Romney will win Ohio, despite auto bailout issue

Wadsworth, Ohio (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday said he was "very confident" that Mitt Romney will win his home state of Ohio on Tuesday, but acknowledged that the auto bailout has helped the president with some voters here.

"Romney is doing well in Ohio. You know, polls don't decide elections, voters do," the speaker said, though he later added "the auto bailout may help the president in Ohio a little."

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"But when you look at polling, it wouldn't indicate that that's had much of a factor at all," he continued. "Enthusiasm is on our side."

Boehner made his comments while sitting in a sports bar in Wadsworth, as customers watched the Cincinnati Bengals (Boehner's favorite team) battle the Denver Broncos. The Cleveland Browns also played Sunday, losing to the Baltimore Ravens.

Donning a red Romney campaign pullover, Boehner said it's possible for the GOP nominee to win the election without carrying the Buckeye State, but said "it gets complicated."

"The easiest path for victory for Mitt Romney is to win here in Ohio. And you know when you start to see Romney's campaign being competitive in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin, it tells me - it reinforces I'll say, reinforces with me that he's doing well here," he said.

Boehner took a lunch break after a morning stop on his three-day bus tour and talked to CNN exclusively. After spending Saturday rallying supporters in Republican strongholds on the western edge of the state, he traveled to an area outside Cleveland, where he held a rally with GOP freshman Congressman Jim Renacci. Renacci is in a neck-and-neck battle in a newly drawn congressional district with Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton, and the race has drawn the most outside money of any House seat in the country.

READ MORE: Boehner expects temporary fix to avoid fiscal cliff

Hoping to win over some undecided voters in a more left-leaning part of the state, Boehner was heading to Niles, a city in the northeastern part of the state and home to many working class voters. While Boehner was campaigning here, Romney held a rally up the highway in Cleveland.

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, holds a rally in Cincinnati Sunday and Vice President Joe Biden makes three stops in the state.

Despite public polls showing Obama with a slight edge in this mother of all battleground states, Boehner insisted Romney has the momentum here. He also thinks that he is within striking distance in Pennsylvania, which up until recently Democrats said was solidly blue.

"I've been around Ohio, I've done this trip around Ohio for a lot of presidential races in the past, and I think Ohioans vote with their wallets. That's why I think Romney's going to win on Tuesday," he said.

Boehner said it's always a closely contested race in Ohio, but added he had never seen anything on the level of the intensity both sides are putting into the state in 2012.

Before returning to his home state for the weekend get-out-the-vote effort for the GOP presidential ticket, Boehner traveled across the country for House GOP candidates. He dismissed projections from congressional analysts that the GOP could lose some seats on election night, saying he was confident there would be at least as many Republicans in the House as there are now.

Pressed on whether his party could build on the record gains they made in the 2010 midterm, Boehner told CNN it "might."

"Listen it's too early to tell, we've got a lot of races and a margin of error, it's just going to be a matter of what the turnout looks like and how these races close," he said. "But I feel good about where our team is."


Filed under: John Boehner • Mitt Romney • Ohio
soundoff (414 Responses)
  1. angryersmell

    I'm as moderate as it gets. I need no moderation.

    November 5, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  2. Commensense

    Boehner, I cannot believe you even hold the position you do, you and the good ole boys club has done everything you can to work against the President to make it your mission to try and make Obama a 1 term president, to make it look like our POTUS has failed, you all need to get over yourself and do the job you were hired to do," WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE" not for the agenda you have shown since the POTUS was elected! Forward all the way, OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!

    November 5, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  3. Desel

    Boehner, yeah right?

    November 5, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  4. Bevis

    Haha "boehner"

    November 5, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  5. McShannon

    John Boehner feels very confident because he and the rest of his camp really don’t know. Money isn’t as important as the ground game and the Obama Camp have a lot of excellent running backs. The Democrats are organized with the vigor of youth it’s a great team

    November 5, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  6. Johnny DC

    I have gay friends that would rather live in an economically prosperous country than one in financial ruin where they happen to enjoy the rights of marriage.

    I have poor friends who would rather live in a country safe from nuclear armed terrorists than one in which the federal government showers them with subsidy after subsidy and free program after free program.

    I have female friends who would rather live in a country where their children won't likely be taxed at 90% to make up for crushing fiscal problems and unbearable inflation than one in which they receive all the birth control and free abortions they could possibly ever need.

    These are the true patriots. The ones who look out for us all rather than give in to the crippling demands of a failing utopian dream.

    November 5, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  7. usadeal

    Maybe Boehner has n't heard what other Republicans are saying about Romney. It certainly makes you wonder why Romney was the GOP nominee?

    “He glosses over and doesn’t even tell the truth. … Here is a guy who is the ultimate flip-flopper running for president.” ~Rick Santorum, campaign event in Tennessee, February 2012

    “Gov. Romney has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain and people are wanting to know, is there proof of that claim? And was it U.S. jobs created for United States citizens?” ~Sarah Palin, Hannity, January 2012

    “I’ve never seen a guy change his position so many times, so fast, on a dime.” ~Rudy Giuliani, MSNBC, December 2011

    “He changed his position on virtually everything. .. all those changes give me pause.” ~Rudy Giuliani, February 2012

    “We’re not going to beat Barack Obama with some guy who has Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island accounts, owns shares of Goldman Sachs while it forecloses on Florida and is himself a stockholder in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while he tries to think the rest of us are too stupid to put the dots together to understand what this is all about.” ~Newt Gingrich, Mt. Dora, Florida. January 26, 2012

    “Now I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out because his company Bain Capital with all the jobs that they killed, I’m sure he was worried that he’d run out of pink slips. There is something inherently wrong when getting rich off failure and sticking it to someone else is how you do your business and I happen to think that’s indefensible. If you’re a victim of Bain Capital’s downsizing, it’s the ultimate insult for Mitt Romney to come to South Carolina and tell you he feels your pain, because he caused it.” ~Rick Perry, South Carolina, January 9, 2012

    “I don’t think that Mitt Romney can legitimately say that he learned anything about how to create jobs in the LBO (leveraged buyout business). The LBO business is about how to strip cash out of old, long-in-the-tooth companies and how to make short-term profits. All the jobs that he talks about came from Staples.(a venture that even Romney was skeptical of). That was a very early venture stage deal. That, you know they got out of long before it got to its current size.” ~Former Reagan OMB Director David Stockman, on Romney’s job creation experience, Fox News, May 2012
    "His (Romney's) record (as Governor of Massachusetts) was that he raised taxes by $730-million. He called them 'fees.' I'm sure the people that had to pay it, whether they called them bananas, they still had to pay $730-million extra." ~ John McCain, January 30, 2008 debate

    “Someone (Romney) who will lie to you to get to be president will lie to you when they are president,” and went on to say, "I just think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney, not try to invent a poll-driven, consultant-guided version that goes around with talking points, and I think he ought to be candid. I don't think he's being candid and that will be a major issue.” ~Newt Gingrich, CBS News, January 3, 2012

    It seems like most Republicans actually want Romney to lose. Who would vote for such a snake oil salesman?

    November 5, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  8. topconservative

    Red doesn't look so good with orange..........

    November 5, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  9. realist

    romney does look like he will win ohio despite the efforts of almost every media outlet to be obama's surrogate. this is going to be funny to watch all of the sarcastic, arrogant liberals be disappointed that their campaign built on binders and big bird wasnt successful

    November 5, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  10. tet1953

    I'm sure Boehner is right, nothing will get done. Unfortunately, the markets are fed up. If they delay the sequester, the economy is toast. If the sequester hits, the economy is burnt toast.

    November 5, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  11. tet1953

    Boehner is right, nothing will get done. If they delay the sequester, the economy is toast. If the sequester hits, the economy is burnt toast.

    November 5, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  12. Cam Paine

    Oh, is Boehner still relevant?
    C'mon, John, go back to your Jim Beam. This thing's been over since the convention. You get four more years to cry about how much you don't like President Obama. End of story.

    November 5, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  13. John

    "Polls don't decide elections, voters do."

    Because polls are not made up of voters.

    November 5, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  14. gango

    Someone should have asked the Speaker if he'd (finally) work in good faith with President if Barak Obama gets elected.

    November 5, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  15. Kirk in michigan

    Unfettered enthusiasm will not win Ohio, mitts lies hopefully will catch up to him here

    November 5, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  16. Harrry Baxter

    Nate Silver says you're dead wrong, John.

    November 5, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  17. Patrick Lewis

    Denial. Powerful, pathetic denial.

    November 5, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  18. julia nickson

    Hey Boehner! Why don't you do your job!

    November 5, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  19. JimM

    Dumb interview....do you really think Boehner would say anything else.

    November 5, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  20. Chedar

    Mr Boehner what did Lyin Romney did for Ohio can you name? He did nothing except to use his scare tactics to lie that Jeep is shipping their Job to China. And you too Mr Boehner is Lying for Romney

    November 5, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  21. ALLuh

    Where's Boener been hiding? The bar? The tanning booth? It's over now John, no need to keep bloviating FOX lies and misinformation, your band of religious nuts has lost and the GOP has been declared a terrorist organization.

    November 5, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  22. Rameses007

    Please tell Boehner that the Grand Bargain will still be on the table when Obama wins tomorrow

    November 5, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  23. Anonymous

    Boehner! Your pay comes from my pockets! Shut up!!!

    November 5, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  24. Sue

    Boehner doesn't understand the voters, the don't vote with their wallets. If the did it wouldn't be for a Republican who wants to give tax credits to the wealthy and tax the poor.

    November 5, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  25. JT

    Apparently the Speaker doesn't know where Romney is rom

    November 5, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
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